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Scholarly Metrics & Altmetrics: Google Scholar Profile

Tools for measuring scholarly impact, journal impact factors, altmetrics, and managing your scholarly identity.

Challenge 1 - Google Scholar Profile

To start things off, today we'll focus on creating a Google Scholar profile. Feel free to just take the initial steps or, if you have more time or interest, check out the advanced steps as well.

What It Is

If you're not familiar with a Google Scholar profile, it's a free way to make a simple online page that can include all your scholarly works. You can also connect to your co-authors, track your citations, and let people know your main areas of research interest.

Screenshot of a Google Scholar profile, including the name, affiliation, research interests, and three articles including when they were published and how many times they've been cited.

What To Do

To create a Google Scholar profile, you'll need have Google account. If you don't already have one, follow these instructions on how to make one. Once you're ready, go to Google Scholar and click on "My profile." You'll be asked for your name, affiliation, email for verification, areas of research interest, and a link to any other online website you have (optional).

Google Scholar will then try to find what it thinks are your articles. Be warned: It's not always great at doing this, so make sure you review the articles first before hitting the "Add all XX articles" button. If they don't look right, you can click to see all the possible articles it found and then add them individually. You can also choose to skip this step. Don't worry, you can always add articles and other scholarly works later.

Finally, you'll be asked if you would like Google Scholar to automatically add articles it identifies as yours to your profile in the future, or if you would like to review them first. We suggest choosing to review them, especially for people with common names. Although Google Scholar does a pretty good job, it's not always right.

After that, just select "Go to my profile" and you're done!


Congrats - you've got a Google Scholar profile! But it probably looks a little bare. When you have the time, you can take the below steps to flesh it out:

  • Add your picture. Although definitely not a requirement, it can help people make sure they have the right Jane Doe.
  • Add more scholarly work. Just click on the plus sign icon next to "Title" at the top of the list of your works. From the drop down menu, choose "Add articles," which lets Google Scholar find your articles for you, which is the easiest option, so start there.
  • Add work manually. Google Scholar might not find all your work on its own. If that's the case, select "Add articles manually" after clicking on the same plus sign icon. You'll notice, however, that it doesn't let you add a URL to the item to help direct people to the full text.
  • Follow yourself. Google Scholar will let you know when it finds an article it thinks is yours, when someone cites one of your items, and/or will recommend articles it thinks match your research interests. Just click on "Follow" next to your profile picture.
  • Add co-authors. You'll see a section called "Co-authors" where you can add people you've worked with. Just click "Edit" and then do a search by name.

What To Watch Out For

Google Scholar is a great easy way to start getting your name and work out there - but it does come with some issues. For starters, there's no guarantee Google will continue this service. They have a history of discontinuing popular services. Also as we noted previously, it doesn't always do the best job at distinguishing authors with similar last names.

Finally, you'll notice it provides your h-index, which is a type of scholarly metric. The h-index can be useful, but it's also good to know that it privileges more senior researchers who have more articles under their belt. You h-index is determined by x articles that have at least x citations - so, if you have four articles with at least four citations, your h-index is 4. But if you only have two articles, you're h-index can't go any higher than 2, even if one of your articles has 27 citations.